July 28, 2010

New Car Comparison

As a addendum to what LCR had to say regarding the Chevy Volt on Left Coast Rebel





There are two different approaches to innovation that will soon be on vivid display at car dealerships near you. On one side is Obama government motors, taking massive amounts of taxpayer federal government bailouts; closing many non minority republican operated dealerships; and with a fedzilla subsidized R&D effort, GM has now released the Chevy Volt pricing. They have set the price at $41,000 but Obama is providing a $7500 tax credit towards the purchase which as many from “right blogistan”, including Maha Rushie, have said is a steep price for feeling morally superior. The Volt can run forty miles on li-ion batteries and then a little gas motor starts to regenerate the batteries. I am not clear on if this is forty miles at highway speed, stop and go, or town speed; four NFL lineman or one little old lady riding inside, but GM claims one out of four drivers drive less than forty miles a day. If that is true how often do they trade cars? If I only drove 40 miles a day my truck would last me a 13 years easily.  My three year average is 54 miles a day.  
To GMs way of thinking if you drive forty miles a day or less that is unlimited mileage and if you drive more then they claim the volt can achieve 240 mpg, but this is NOT an EPA rated number.  Even with the 40 miles a day unlimited fuel mileage, it is not free.   It just shifts the cost from the pump to the electric meter, however much that may be.  And because of where we get our electricity from the Volt is  not an electric powered car; it is a coal powered car. That aside, how many of our workplaces will jump to supply owners with free charging?   Lastly, this is not a vehicle you simply plug into your house or the neighbors outdoor receptacle, it is 240 volt, meaning you have to have special service in your house for it.  What of the city dwellers who park on the street or parking garage?  How will that work?  So there are several points of failure readily apparent in the Volt.

But what else can you get for your $30k? Across town is a Ford dealership which did not take federal bailout money and which has been making profit ever since. What is their approach to innovation? How about a v6 producing 300hp and with an EPA rating of 31mpg. Which is admittedly not unlimited or 240 but is legit and in a car the people will love. 300hp is more hp than most supercars of the eighties. The v6 mustang has better performance in every category than any standard v8 mustang ever. And it looks HAWT to boot, it might even help your ability to mate, well I guess the Volt might also…if you are into those kinds of people.

I contend that the Volt is not even as much of a game changer as a Prius. The Prius gets 40+- mpg and is run on proven technology.  The Volt is a rehash of the early nineties GM EV1 which was also government funded and never gained any real customer support… in fact, they were all destroyed.   No in order to be a game changer the car would have to a) plug into a standard outlet, b) cost the same as a Honda Accord, and c) go 100 miles on a charge.  Then it would be a game changer.  As it is now it is just another sure to fail concept, from a failing company, run by a failing administration, headed by a failed president.

-via my iPhone
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